Famous Products of Mountain and Sea

(Sankai meisan zukushi, 山海名産盡)

Publisher: Shin Iseya Kohei

c. 1833

 

This series of prints is listed as number 193 in Kuniyoshi by Basil William Robinson (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1961).  The prints in this series are each about 14 by 10 inches (36 by 25 centimeters), a size known as ôban.

 

Title: Ise Abalone (伊勢鰒, Ise awabi)

Description: Women diving for abalone at Ise with the “wedded rocks” of Futami bay in the mid-ground

 

Title: Bonito (a schooling fish of the tuna family) from Sagami Province (相模堅魚)

Description: Beauty on bull in foreground and Mt. Fuji in background

 

Title: Crucian Carp (Carassius carassius) from Ômi Province (近江の国源五郎鮒)

Description: Woman and child caught in the wind

 

Title: Frozen Snow from Kaga Province (加賀ノ雪)

Description: Woman with umbrella having her wooden sandal (geta) adjusted

 

Title: Geese from Iyo (a city in Okinawa)

Description: Catching geese with nets

 

Title: Icefish from the Sumida River in Edo (東都第一角田川の白魚

 )

Description: Fishing boats with Mt. Fuji in background

 

Title: Hizen Province, Imari Porcelains (肥前国伊万里焼, Hizen no kuni Imariyaki)

Description: A smoky kiln in the foreground

 

Title: Nara whitened cotton from Yamato Province (大和奈良さらし)

Description: Two women looking at a kite that has fallen in the water

 

Title: Noodles from Shinano Province (信濃蕎麦)

Description: Travelers with Mt. Fuji in the background

 

Title: Whales from Kii Province (Kii kujira, 紀伊鯨)

Description: Woman with three children

This is a key block print.  It is an impression pulled from the first woodblock made by a carver from the artist’s original drawing.  The artist would write instructions for each color on a separate key block print, and the woodblock for each color was cut using one of these as a guide.  Registration marks (kento) are characteristically found on Japanese key block prints.  Kento are cut in each woodblock, so that the paper can be properly aligned on each woodblock during printing.  A kento in the shape of a reversed ‘L’ is visible in this print’s right lower corner.  In addition to being a guide for carving the color woodblocks, the key block was also used to apply black ink (usually) in the printing process.

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